Disney is reconsidering the announced PLAY! Pavilion that was supposed to take over the old Wonders of Life building at EPCOT. The PLAY! Pavilion was originally supposed to open in 2021, and promised interactive experiences for guests.
The news was reported by Scott Gustin after guests noticed that the “Coming Soon” mention of the PLAY! Pavilion was removed from EPCOT’s park maps.
Walt Disney World is re-evaluating the original concept that was planned and announced for the PLAY! Pavilion at EPCOT. I would expect more to be shared at a later date. pic.twitter.com/KyfudRNvsq
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) January 13, 2023
This news doesn’t come as much of a surprise. As Disney has moved forward with other projects at EPCOT (World Celebration, Journey of Water), they’ve been noticeably quiet on the PLAY! Pavilion.
Disney blocked off walkways to the PLAY! Pavilion with landscaping just before Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened in 2021.
Aerial photo showing that the construction fence has moved inward at Guardians of the Galaxy and Play Pavilion.
Notice how the Play Pavilion access is blocked by landscaping. pic.twitter.com/yfA3PTOQVw
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) November 26, 2021
The PLAY! Pavilion was originally announced back in 2019 along with other changes to EPCOT’s old Future World space.
Disney’s original description of the PLAY! Pavilion:
“In this digital metropolis, you’ll discover an interactive city bursting with games, activities and experiences that connect you with friends, family and beloved Disney characters – both real and virtual – like never before. As part of this new pavilion, you’ll have the chance to help legendary fashion icon Edna Mode on her quest to rid the world of uninspired style, or make a splash competing in a water-balloon fight hosted by Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby.”
Disney probably has several leading reasons for why the PLAY! Pavilion is now the Paused Pavilion. Reigning in finances is likely a key one, but the pandemic must have played a role in Disney ditching the previous high-touch, interactive concept. Though health concerns have eased considerably, Disney may have used the time during the pandemic to reconsider the idea.
Hopefully Disney will announce a new idea (and perhaps a better idea) so guests can once again enjoy the iconic Wonders of Life building in the near future.